The Crying Game #2 : Less tears

This is part two of a dev diary for a game I’m making in a month with Robert Yang, for the Super Friendship Club’s second pageant. The theme was mysticism, so somehow we decided to make ‘Cult Tycoon’ (still no real name). For the first part, take a look here. Onwards!

DAY … 4?) After a few days break, I came back with a mission, to put something actually ‘fun’ into the game. This was foiled however, as I had  a whole bunch of maintenance to do. Robert made some more building models, which I needed to put into my building prefabs to replace my placeholder cubes. Unfortunately, Unity freaked out about the whole business, and my existing prefabs got corrupted and started throwing all kinds of crazy errors. I just had to make my prefabs again, but it was still wasted time.

(schedule got kinda messed up, so I’m making up the days now)

DAY 5) Grumpy after yesterday, I thought I would do some fun programming. As in, get some sort of system going in the game. The old method of acquiring followers, by parking a van in the town and preaching, was kinda boring. Instead, we made the van into an abductor, where you park the van in front of an unsuspecting citizen and brainwash them. This also wasn’t too exciting, so we added the risk that another citizen will see you kidnap someone, raising FBI suspicion of your cult. Also did some tidying up, like stopping people walking off the edge of the world.

DAY 6) What’s a cult without people trying to escape? One thing players have to keep an eye on is how loyal their devotees are. If loyalty is getting low, some radicals may try to escape back to normal society. To stop this, you need defences. We thought about having minefields or fences and the like, but Rover is much more fun(and easy to model!) I programmed him in, and will maybe include more defences later.

DAY 7) Implemented the Kool-Aid resource, which you build a stockpile of to increase loyalty, and to use on ‘Judgement Day’. If loyalty is getting low, you can drench your followers in Kool-Aid, temporarily raising loyalty. We’re also thinking of recruiting people via Kool-Aid, so in the late game you can mass-recruit by using some of your stockpile. The FBI also now has an effect, as they wander around your base, buildings they ‘investigate’ will  become inactive for a time, so you need to direct them tower-defence style, or bribe them away.

DAY 8) Pathfinding. I had been putting it off, since it always leads to days of bug hunting, but we’re getting to the point that cars driving through buildings starts to look odd. Unfortunately, since we have dynamic building placement in the cult plantation I can’t use a plain old navmesh. I have a couple options.

The first and simplest is to only lay out waypoints along the road between the town and plantation. You can only control the exact position of the van when it is in the town, it is otherwise just travelling along the waypoints or waiting at the plantation. This may be counter-intuitive, but will focus the role of the van (it doesn’t need to be moved around the plantation)

The second is to lay out a grid of nodes in the plantation (and elsewhere), and when a building is placed, I disable those nodes, so when a unit is looking for a path it knows it can’t go there. This will be slower and harder to implement, but if we ever want units to be controllable in the plantation it’s really the only method. I’m open to other possibilities, so if anyone knows what might work…

That’s it for now! Check back in a couple of weeks, when I will be going over the (hopefully)final stretch.

Go to Part 3

NOTE: This is reposted on AltDevBlogADay, which is full of interesting articles by devs of many flavours.

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5 thoughts on “The Crying Game #2 : Less tears

  1. This is genuinely awesome. Please continue this series – I’m interested to see how this game turns out.

  2. [...] as Altercation.), for the Super Friendship Club’s second pageant. Have a read of Part 1 and Part 2 for more [...]

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